Belfast Telegraph

Friday 19 December 2014

Personal stories: Garden memorial to Troubles victims

Mark Kelly lost his legs in a bomb attack. He now works with Wave Trauma Centre

Mark Kelly MBE lost his legs in a Glengormley bomb attack in the 1970s
Mark Kelly MBE lost his legs in a Glengormley bomb attack in the 1970s

Wave  won the Big Lottery Fund's People's Millions competition in 2009 and used the money to create a Garden of Hope for survivors of the Troubles

Mark said: "The garden stands as a living memorial to all those who died in the Troubles, reflecting the wide range of people affected.

"I normally use prosthetics but I've been in the wheelchair these last few months -- I can still access the garden independently, though, and that's very important.

"It's a lovely place to be, even though it's in north Belfast, on the edge of an area so affected by the conflict. You can relax among the plants and reflect.

"When it's in bloom, with the scent of the lavender around you, it can be a gentle place for the mind.

"And when I hear the wind chimes sound they remind me of all the people who were affected by the conflict.

"As Northern Ireland moves forward in this new era to what we hope will be a shared future there will be many challenges, but most people would agree that those challenges are even greater for people injured or traumatised in the conflict."

Entry packs are available for this year's BLF People's Millions at  http://www.peoplesmillions.org.uk/

The deadline for completed entries is noon on May 16.

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